The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) issued its first penalty under Canada's anti-spam
legislation (CASL) on March 5, 2015, hitting Quebec-based corporate
training company, Compu-Finder, with a $1.1 million penalty. Since
CASL came into force eight months ago this is the first fine
imposed by the regulator. It was a straightforward situation since
Compu-Finder was a flagrant CASL violator and the subject of many
Background on CASL
CASL came into effect on July 1, 2014, and is intended to
protect Canadians from email spam, malware and other electronic
threats. CASL generally prohibits sending commercial electronic
messages to an electronic address without the recipient's
consent, altering transmission data such that a message is
delivered to an unintended destination, and installing computer
programs onto computer systems without consent. The potential fines
for violating CASL are significant, with fines reaching up to $1
million for individuals and $10 million for organizations. The
directors and officers of a corporation may be held personally
liable for a corporation's violations of CASL if they have
directed, authorized or participated in the violation.
Compu-Finder's Violations of CASL
Compu-Finder was fined for sending emails without the
recipients' consent, and emails in which the requisite
unsubscribe mechanism did not function properly. The CRTC noted
that 26% of CASL complaints made in relation to training companies
were about Compu-Finder.
The CRTC found that Compu-Finder flagrantly violated the basic
principles of CASL by continuing to send unsolicited commercial
messages to email addresses it found by scouring websites (email
addresses apparently posted for purposes other than those of
Compu-Finder), and that the CRTC's "goal is to encourage a
change of behaviour on the part of Compu-Finder such that it adapts
its business practices to the modern reality of electronic commerce
and the requirements of the anti-spam law."
The content of this article does not constitute legal advice
and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be
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